Finding Answers after 15 Years

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Kathy Dickerson had been dealing with incontinence for 15 years.

“Ever since I had kids, I’ve been making frequent trips to the bathroom,” she shares. “I thought it was to be expected, and that there wasn’t anything I could do about it. I tried a few over-the-counter things, but nothing ever did any good.”

It wasn’t until about four years ago when she was talking to her gynecologist at her annual appointment that she learned there were better options.

“My gynecologist told me about Dr. Oakley and that she may be able to help,” Kathy says. “I decided I wanted to go and at least hear what she had to say.”

“I am so glad I did,” she continues. “Dr. Oakley is the most amazing woman and so easy to talk to. I just loved her right off the bat.”

During Kathy’s appointment, Dr. Susan Oakley, a Urogynecologist at St. Elizabeth Physicians, learned about her history, her symptoms and asked Kathy about her expectations. When Dr. Oakley learned Kathy wanted something that was “one and done” – something that didn’t require follow-up appointments or on-going therapy, Dr. Oakley recommended a device called InterStim .

“We are here to listen to women when they come in to see us,” Dr. Oakley says. “There are so many options available today that effectively address incontinence that there really is no reason women should have to suffer from this.”

“Kathy was a good candidate for surgery because she had tried other approaches and nothing had worked. This procedure would help her enjoy her favorite activities again and not have to think about dealing with it anymore,” Dr. Oakley adds.

InterStim is an implant that is placed into the buttocks through a small incision during a minimally-invasive procedure. It helps address incontinence caused by overactive bladder (OAB) by helping regulate the nerve signals between the brain and the bladder. Those signals help reduce feelings of urgency – the feeling that you need to use the restroom.

“People are often surprised to hear that InterStim has been around for 20 years,” says Brian Brooks, a senior sales representative at Medtronic, the company that manufactures the device. “It’s continued to get better and better each year. The device is smaller, and the battery lasts longer than ever before.”

Other treatments for incontinence include medication, botox injections, pelvic floor therapy and in-office nerve stimulation.

Enjoying Life Again
Kathy experienced the benefits of the device almost immediately after surgery.

“It really was a quick recovery,” she says. “I was surprised at how fast I saw the difference with the device. I haven’t had any side effects at all.”

“Before this procedure, I thought I was going to have to wear pads the rest of my life and that was so disheartening,” she admits. “I’m still young. I wanted to be able to go on trips with my husband and enjoy my favorite activities without having to always worry about going to the bathroom.”

“I just want other women to know that there is something out there that can help you,” she finishes.

To schedule an appointment with Dr. Oakley or another St. Elizabeth Urogynecologist , call (859) 757-2132.